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Quitter. Loser. Failure. Those words fall like anvils on the shoulders of high achievers, and can motivate people to keep working, long after others have thrown in the towel.

Perseverance can lead to great success

People who achieve their goals are considered winners and are held up as an example for others to follow.

Does that mean there is never an appropriate time to abandon a goal? Does giving up always make you a failure?

Goal setting is an effective tool for reaching a target. It can motivate individuals to increase their sales, improve their accuracy, cultivate strategic relationships and more.  In some instances, however, it can also be limiting, and can cause people to stick with something out of a misguided sense of pride.

Over time, you will come to the inevitable fork in the road. Your path to success will become difficult and the temptation to abandon the goal will be strong.

How do you know when to push through the challenges toward success or walk away from the goal and find a new path?

Push Through

Often, people give up too early on their goals. 

You’ve experienced a minor setback - a setback doesn’t mean you should abandon your goal completely. You may need to adjust the timeline, or re-frame the goal, but keep working at it.

Other people have changed course.  There is strength in numbers. When others are working on the same goal, it is easy to stay on target. When others switch goals or abandon them altogether, it is tempting to give up. Don’t be swayed by the crowd.

You have to change strategies

Sometimes, the strategies you were using to reach your goal don’t work. Instead of giving up on your goal, change strategies and approach the goal from a different angle.

Walk away

Your goal has adverse consequences. Sometimes, a goal seems like a good idea at the beginning. Over time, however, you may realize that what you thought you wanted has changed.  

The prestige of being the top sales producer may be enticing, for example, until you realize that it means you’ll be away from home more often.

Your goal changed 

The goal you originally set may have been well-crafted but may not apply any more. Just because you set a goal in college doesn’t mean you’re locked into it for life.

Your goal doesn’t align with your values

It happens. You feel very strongly about something, and then realize you were wrong. If your goal is out of step with the values you hold, change goals.

Successful people have learned that goal-setting is simply a tool that can be used to help get where they want to go. They have learned to harness goal-setting appropriately – pushing through or walking away as needed in order to reach their overall goal.

Asses, then keep re-assessing. 

Don’t be afraid to pivot as you navigate through the course of life.

Interested in learning more about effective goal setting? Check out our blog, where we explore new topics regularly.

Does someone on your team need to learn to navigate the ins and outs of goal setting? We can help you establish an effective goal setting program that creates opportunity for both personal and professional growth. Contact us today for more information on how to get started!

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